Yes, You Can Buy Ladybugs!
On Saturday, the 19 October 2019 this response evoked laughter in a Limerick (Ireland) cosmology gathering! Fascinating though Ladybugs or Lady beetles are, why and how would anyone buy or sell them? Perhaps we are not all aware that Ladybugs are the sworn enemy of greenfly and aphids and therefore a valuable asset to even the amateur gardener! And yes, Ladybugs can be bought at some more entrepreneurial and ecologically minded garden Centres!
The hall full of laughing people who had gathered on Saturday morning at Don Bosco Centre, Milford, were more than a little serious about our planet’s future and they were very interested in insects and in promoting biodiversity without the introduction of harmful chemicals. All present at the conference were genuinely concerned about ‘climate change’ and the welfare of our planet. They were gathered to hear what they might do about “a Limerick Response to Climate Change”. Regardless of age or state of health, each person present possessed the capability of contributing to a response to earth’s cry for ‘help!’ Each was ready to embrace the responsibility of responding in some way. Even small changes in our lifestyles can make a difference.
We don’t have to be philosophers or scientists to notice the signs of our times. Our information sources and communication apps bring us an abundance of unwelcome news clips about melting ice-caps, rising sea levels, swamping coastlines, disappearing islands, changing weather conditions and even more local threats to our herds and potato crops. We know we add to that situation through the devastating effects of human activities, e.g., obliteration of rainforest areas, pollution of ocean and water systems, abuse of the land and destruction of natural habitats; and that’s just a few! These behaviours contribute to the loss of biodiversity, diminishment of top-soil and destruction of the very systems: air, sun and water that support our very survival.
The truth is every one of us can make a difference! All is not gloom and doom! In the midst of all the negatives about destructive forces it is encouraging to see some signs of hope. None of us is alone.
Have courage! Developing across the world is a kind of groundswell of people from all walks of life, pointing out the factors that are contributing to the destruction of earth, as well as highlighting ways human beings can respond. Scientists and others are publishing the results of their research. We hear about “Earth Overshoot Day” – marking the date when earth’s population uses more of the planet’s resources than the planet is able to replace. Churches celebrating the “Season of Creation,” (from 1 September to 4 October each year), remind us to respect God’s gift of creation and to care for it. A slogan such as “CUSP” challenges us to “cease using single use plastic”!
Cosmology groups, too, are evolving and becoming more vocal. We can rejoice in the ministry of many Religious Orders who, with a growing number of lay-people, are spending significant energy in developing sensitivity to the environment! Over the last ten years the Salesian Cosmology Group in Limerick has been running conferences to raise people’s consciousness levels about the crisis facing our planet, earth. They have encouraged all who attend to make lifestyle adjustments that are more respectful of earth’s resources and to be mindful that future generations have the right to a healthy planet…
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Eileen Lanihan rsj